Libraries=Education
Valerie J. Gross

ABOUT

BIOGRAPHY 



Valerie J. Gross, MM, MLS, JD, has served as President & CEO of Howard County Library System (HCLS) in Maryland since 2001. 

An educator and attorney for 30 years in academic, law, and public library settings, Gross holds a Master of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, a Master of Library Science from San Jose State University, and a law degree from Golden Gate University School of Law. She is a member of the American, Public, Maryland, and California Library Associations, and the California Bar Association.

Gross developed a 21st century vision for libraries that reclaims the profession’s original purpose: Libraries = Education. Working with the HCLS Board and staff members, local government, and the community to implement the approach, Gross led the transformation of HCLS to its current standing as a distinguished educational institution, alongside the region’s schools, colleges, and universities.

As the philosophy evolved, HCLS became well known in the U.S. and overseas. Gross was invited to speak and write about the strategy.

Gross has delivered 100+ keynotes, workshops, seminars, and webinars on "Libraries = Education," drawing the participation and input of thousands of library professionals from all 50 states and 108 countries around the world. Combining these experiences, she authored Transforming Our Image, Building Our Brand: The Education Advantage (ABC-CLIO, 2013). 

For this game-changing vision, HCLS received Library Journal''s prestigious Library of the Year award. As part of the award, the publication hailed the “Libraries = Education” equation “a 21st-century model worthy of study and consideration by every library in America, if not the world.” (Library Journal, June 2013)

Adopted across the country and overseas, the vision is ushering in a new era for libraries everywhere.

In addition to leading HCLS to Library of the Year, Gross was honored in by the Public Library Association with the 2017 Charlie Robinson Award, the Daily Record as a 2015 Innovator or the Year, and the Baltimore Sun as one of “50 Women to Watch: The most intriguing, powerful, and memorable personalities making an impact on the Baltimore region.” She received the Public Libraries Best Feature Article Award in 2012 and 2010, and was honored as a Library Journal Mover and Shaker in 2004.

Gross chairs the Choose Civility Board of Advisors and HiTech Board of Advisors, and serves on the Howard County Spending Affordability Advisory Committee. She has served on the Board of Directors of Leadership Howard County, Howard County Arts Council, Vision Howard County, Howard County Public School System’s District Planning Team, and Columbia Cultural Master Plan Advisory Committee. At the state level, she is the 2016/2017 President of the Maryland Association of Public Library Administrators, and serves on the Maryland Library Association’s Legislative Advisory Panel and the University of Maryland's iSchool Advisory Committee. At the national level, she serves on the ALA International Relations Committee and the Resident Expert Panel for the 2015-2017 ALA Presidential Initiative, and co-chairs the Public Libraries Expert Initiative Committee.

Ms. Gross grew up in Switzerland and has taught English in China. A classically trained singer, she and her husband, Tri Q. Nguyen, a classical guitarist and real estate investor, live in Columbia, Maryland. 

2013 Library of the Year Award Presentation Highlights, Chicago, Illinois, June 30, 2013 (3-min. video)

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For a condensed 4-min. version, please click here: bit.ly/1Mlx4M6
INTERVIEWS 

Videos/Video Interviews

  • HCLS Central Branch Grand Re-Opening. On November 5, 2016, the HCLS Central Branch reopened to the public. As part of its November 1 feature article on the capital project, The Baltimore Sun included a video.
Clicking here will open the article -- the video is at the top of the page.








  • Howard County Library System Evening in the Stacks: Black Eyed Susan Ball.  This March 2016 Comcast Newsmakers video includes interviews with Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman, Howard County Library System (HCLS) President & CEO Valerie Gross, HCLS Board Chair Andy Dalal, Friends of HCLS Board Chair Phillip Dodge, Howard County Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Leonardo McClarty, and HCLS HiTech Board of Advisors member Bruce Potter and his wife Heidi.

    To view the video, please click here.





  • HCLS Chapters-of-Our-Lives Time Capsule Ins
    tallationThe HCLS Chapters-of-Our-Lives Time Capsule was installed in its circular bench on December 21, 2015 at HCLS' Central Branch. 

To view the video, please click here.
For photos, please click here.




  • HCLS Letter to the Future. HCLS Board Chair, Andy Dalal, and President & CEO Valere Gross present "HCLS Letter to the Future," the final item to be placed in the HCLS Chapters-of-Our-Lives Time Capsule during its installation on December 21, 2015. 

To view the video, please click here.
For photos, please click here.




  • Celebrate 75: HCLS Chapters-of-Our-Lives Time Capsule Guardians. HCLS' Celebrate 75 event on October 24, 2015 drew a crowd of 1,600! The packed Opening Ceremony featured our 136 Chapters-of-Our-Lives Time Capsule Guardians.The ceremony was livestreamed and can be viewed @ bit.ly/1PO4O74.  

For a condensed 4-min. version, please click here: bit.ly/1Mlx4M6
For photos, please click here: bit.ly/1Xw9f83!




  • Howard County Library System Evening in the Stacks: Black Ties, White DiamondsThis short Comcast Newsmakers video includes interviews with Howard County Library System (HCLS) staff members Valerie Gross, community leaders, bestselling author Courtney Sullivan, and numerous elected officials on February 28, 2015 at Evening in the Stacks: Vintage Vegas. More than 625 guests attended. The clip captures the fun, and also the results of repositioning libraries as a key component of the education enterprise

    HCLS’ annual fundraiser, Evening in the Stacks features a different theme each year. Proceeds supplement HCLS' signature initiatives, including A+ Partners in Education, a comprehensive partnership among Howard County Library System, Howard County Public School System, and Howard Community College. The gala also benefits the Friends of HCLS.

    To view this video, please click here



  • "Inspiration Over the Ocean." This 7-min. video features Howard County Library System President & CEO Valerie J. Gross' tour to the Czech Republic in May 2014. Gross was invited to present four seminars/workshops on “Libraries = Education,” a game-changing vision that is ushering in a new era for libraries in the United States and beyond. Participants included students and faculty from universities, as well as public and academic library professionals from across the country.

    The video also captures Czech culture, history, and music.

    The "Inspiration Over the Ocean" tour was made possible by a travel grant from the European Union in partnership with BibiloEduca and Masaryk University in Brno. Special thanks to: Beáta Holá, BiblioEduca President and Founder; Alžběta Strnadová, BiblioEduca Project Manager; and Ivona Floresová, Interpreter.

    A Howard County Library System (MD) video production published on YouTube 10/30/14. To view this video, please click here.


  •   The HCLS Savage Branch & STEM Education Center Grand Re-OpeningThe Baltimore Sun produced this video of the greatly expanded and renovated HCLS Savage Branch & STEM Education Center as part of the VIP/Media tour on July 18, 2014. The renovated and greatly and greatly expanded branch further positions HCLS as a 21st century educational institution, delivering 21st century public education for all.

    A launching point for the STEM career pipeline, the contemporary venue centers on science and technology, tripling classroom space for the delivery of the enhanced HCLS STEM curriculum for children and teens.
    Nearly doubling the size of the branch, every inch of this cutting-edge epicenter of learning advances the caliber of the curriculum HCLS delivers under its three pillars: Self-Directed Education, Research Assistance & Instruction, and Instructive & Enlightening Experiences.

Thank you to Ulysses Munoz and the Baltimore Sun Media Group. To view the video, please click here. Also, here are photos of the July 22, 2014 grand opening (3,000 attended), and the vision/fact sheet.


  • Howard County Library System's Evening in the Stacks: Vintage Vegas. This short Comcast Newsmakers video includes interviews with Howard County Library System (HCLS) staff members Valerie Gross and Christie Lassen, community leaders, bestselling author Chris Bohjalian, and numerous elected officials on February 22, 2014. More than 650 guests attended. The clip captures the fun, and also the results of repositioning libraries as a key component of the education enterprise
HCLS’ annual fundraiser, Evening in the Stacks features a different theme each year. Proceeds supplement HCLS' signature initiatives, including A+ Partners in Education, a comprehensive partnership among Howard County Library System, Howard County Public School System, and Howard Community College. The gala also benefits the Friends of HCLS.

To view this video, please click here.              


  • The Education Advantage. Gale/Cengage Learning Conference for Chicagoland Library Directors: "The Education Advantage: The Library as an Educational Institution" (January 16, 2014, Chicago, Illinois). Valerie Gross' presentation took the form of an on stage conversation with Bethany Dotson, Market Development Manager, Gale/Cengage Learning. The interview was recorded.

To view this video, please click here.







 
Audio Interviews










Ever Better Podcast: Valerie Gross, Education for All
(June 3, 2016)
Valerie Gross and her team are serving the community in unexpected ways. And the results are clear. Visits to Howard County libraries are up from one to three million in the past decade, items borrowed have doubled to 7.3 million, and attendance at events has almost quadrupled to 306,000. Her staff are adaptable and pride themselves on offering excellent customer service and they study best practices from successful corporations.

Listen Now or Read the Complete Show Notes 












FYI  002   Valerie Gross
(December 27, 2015)
Public Libraries editor Kathleen Hughes talks to Valerie Gross, President and CEO of the Howard County Library System (Maryland) about the principles of two library initiatives, Libraries = Education and Choose Civility in this PLOnline Podcast. To listen, please click here.








Columbia Matters: Episode 4 
(July 2015)
Mary Weeks of the Columbia Association interviews Valerie J. Gross, President & CEO of Howard County Library System (HCLS). Discussion includes an overview of HCLS, its 75 Diamond Anniversary, and partnership initiatives between HCLS and the Columbia Association, including Choose Civility and Cultural Connections. Columbia Matters is produced by the Columbia Association, Columbia, MD. To listen, please click here. Ms. Gross' interview begins at the 9:52 min. mark.




Circulating Ideas:
Episode 59: Steve Thomas chats with Valerie J. Gross, President & CEO of Howard County Library System, author of Transforming Our Image, Building Our Brand: The Education Advantage, January 27, 2015. Circulating Ideas (@circideas) is the library profession podcast hosted by Steve Thomas (@stevelibrarian). To listen, please click here.


And Then There's That...

"And Then There’s That . . .” Podcast Episode 37 - The Three Pillars with Valerie Gross, President and CEO of Howard County Library System: March 25, 2011.

Description: Dennis Lane and Paul Skalny discuss new wine shipping laws, why HoCo is a great place to date nerds, mountain bike training courses, and are joined by Valerie Gross, President and CEO of the Howard County Library System.

A bi-weekly show with thousands of listeners, And Then There’s That . . . is Howard County’s most popular podcast. It is hosted by Dennis Lane and Paul Skalny, and produced by Dave Bittner of HoCoMoJo—Independent MObile JOurnalism Showcasing the "mojo" of HOward County (www.hocomojo.com/group/andthentheresthat).

To listen, please click here.



Photo Credit: Dave Bittner, HoCoMoJo Producer                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Return to Top

The Kojo Nnamdi Show: Choosing Civility


On April 7, 2008, Valerie Gross was interviewed on WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi Show where she discussed Howard County’s Choose Civility initiative that launched in 2006. Led by Howard County Library System where Gross serves as President & CEO, Choose Civility enhances respect, empathy, inclusiveness, and consideration in Howard County. The communitywide partnership is now 100 Alliance Partners Strong.

Description: “Should government encourage—or even mandate—good manners? One Maryland county is adopting the mantra "Choose Civility" in its campaign to encourage residents to be nicer to each other.


To listen, please click here.

The Kojo Nnamdi Show: Profanity and Kids (Choose Civility)

On July 1, 2011, Valerie Gross was interviewed on WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi Show centering on the topic of children’s use of profanity, and how the Choose Civility initiative can benefit younger generations.

Description:  “It's an age-old refrain: kids these days are rude, lazy, and disrespectful. But some insist that today's trash-talking young people are a sign of an overall decline in civility. Others argue that our youth simply reflect a society that favors cable television shout-fests and music with X-rated lyrics. We explore kids, language, and whether how we talk reveals a deeper shift in values. Guests: John McWhorter, Professor, Columbia University; Contributing Editor; The New Republic and City Journal; author of What Language Is (And What It Isn’t, And What It Could Be); Valerie Gross President and CEO, Howard County Library, Maryland.”

To listen, please click here.                                                                                                                                                                                          

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 Print Interviews

  • "Turning the page: Howard County Library director leaving after 16 years," by Janene Holtzberg, The Baltimore Sun, April 16, 2017.
  • "Libraries = Education: An Interview with Valerie Gross," by Dave Shumaker, Information Today, August 2, 2016.










  • "Library's 75th Anniversary Celebration is One for the Books," by Janene Holzberg. The Baltimore Sun, March 8, 2015.


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    PUBLICATIONS
     

     
     Valerie Gross’ publications include:

     

    HONORS, AWARDS  

     2017   Recipient of the Public Library Association's Charlie Robinson Award 

    2015   Awarded Innovator of the Year 2015 by the Daily Record (Maryland's legal and business publication) (article here; photos here; video here [top RH corner])

    2014   Recipient of Leadership Howard County’s Youth Advocate Award (Award Video)

    2013   Honored by the Baltimore Sun as one of “50 Women to Watch: The most intriguing, powerful, and memorable personalities making an impact on the Baltimore region”

    2013   Led HCLS to being named Top Innovator for 2013 by the Urban Libraries Council

    2013   Led HCLS to being named 2013 Library of the Year (Gale/Library Journal)

    2012   American Library Association/Public Library Association Public Libraries Feature Award Writing Contest Winner

    2010   American Library Association/Public Library Association  Public Libraries Feature Award Writing Contest Winner

    2004   Library Journal Movers and Shakers Award (Movers and Shakers 2004: The People Who Are Shaping the Future of Libraries)

    2004   Howard County Council Award for Excellence

    2004   Senate of Maryland Award for Excellence

    2004   Maryland House of Delegates Award for Excellence

    2004   Howard County Public School System’s Accelerating Academic Achievement Partnership Award

    2003   Leadership Howard County

    1992   AALL Law Degree Scholarship

     

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    CURRICULUM VITAE 

    Valerie J. Gross


    CONTACT

    Email: valeriejgross@gmail.com


    SOCIAL MEDIA

    Website: EducationEnterprises.org
    Twitter
    : @ValerieJGross
    Facebook: Valerie J. Gross
    Flickr: Valerie J. Gross

    EDUCATION

    J.D., Golden Gate University School of Law, San Francisco, California

    M.L.S., San Jose State University, San Jose, California

    M.M., Voice, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, San Francisco, California

    B.A., Music, Goshen College, Goshen, Indiana

     

    POSITIONS (most recent)

    President & CEO, Howard County Library System, Howard County, Maryland, 2001-present

    Executive Director, Goshen Public Library, Goshen, Indiana, 1998-2001


    PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS 

    American Library Association, Public Library Association, Library Leadership & Management Association, Maryland Library Association, Maryland Association of Public Library Administrators, Leadership Howard County, California Library Association, State Bar of California (Admitted to Bar in 1996).


    LANGUAGES

    Fluent:                    English, French

    Intermediate            Spanish, German

    Working Knowledge:  Chinese (Mandarin), Vietnamese                                                                                                                                    Return to Top
                                                                                                                                                                                             

    INVITED PRESENTATIONS 

    Valerie Gross presents keynotes, workshops, seminars, and webinars on Libraries = Education and a variety of topics. Examples include:

    2017

    • Maryland Association of School Librarians Presentation: "Libraries = Education: A New Way of Thinking" (January 18, 2017, MLA Headquarters, Baltimore, Maryland)
    • Webinar (Demco): "Libraries = Education Your Key to Success" (February 23, 2017, 2 - 3 pm EST) Summary here. Attendees: 1,000 (900 from the U.S. representing all 50 states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico); 10 from Canada representing five provinces; 25 from 20 additional countries (Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bermuda, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Georgia, Greece, India, Jamaica, Lebanon, Madagascar, Mexico, Panama, Singapore, Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay)
    • Read Across Illinois Library System (RAILS) OnConference Keynote: "Seize the Moment: Libraries Take the Lead" (March 9, 2017, 12 - 1 pm Central Time) Register (free!) at bit.ly/OnConference; Attendees: 271 from 38 countries (Algeria, Australia, Barbados, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Egypt, France, Ghana, India, Iraq, Ireland, Kuwait, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, St Kitts, Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States, Zimbabwe)
    • American Library Association Webinar: "Library and Information Experts Succeeding in the 21st Century: Competencies, Careers, and Successful Practice" (March 29, 2017 12 pm - 3 pm, Pacific Daylight Time) Details at bit.ly/2mnhRSe  Attendees: 3,616 from 97 countries (Algeria, American Samoa, Antigua & Barbuda, Armenia, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Croatia, Egypt, El Salvador, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guam, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mali, Mexico, Moldova, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe) 

    • Mohawk Valley Library System Workshop: "Libraries = Education: A New Way of Thinking" (April 6, 2017, Schenectady, New York) Photos here.
    • Upper Hudson Library System Workshop: "Libraries = Education: A New Way of Thinking" (April 7, 2017, Albany, New York) Photos here.
    • Webjunction Webinar: "Civility Goes Viral: A New Approach for a New Era" (April 18, 2017, 3 pm ET -- sponsored by OCLC) Webinar recording here.
    • Oklahoma Library Association Pre-Conference: "Game Changer: Libraries = Education Your Key to Success" (April 24, 2017, 9 am - 4:30 pm, Salon H, National Center for Employee Development Conference Center, Norman, Oklahoma Details here) Photos here.
      • Part I: "Getting It Together"
      • Part II: "Putting It Together: Education Innovation"
    • Oklahoma Library Association Conference Session: "The Education Advantage: Why Sooners Need Libraries More Than Ever" (April 25, 2017, 11 am - 12:30 pm, Salon H, National Center for Employee Development Conference Center, Norman, Oklahoma) Details here. Photos here.
    • New Jersey Library Association Conference Keynote: "Why the Garden State Needs Libraries More Than Ever: Libraries = Education" (April 26, 2017, 10:10 - 11 am, Avalon 1, Harrahs Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey) Details here. Photos here.
    • New Jersey Library Association Conference Session: "Making a Splash: How to Implement Libraries = Education" (April 26, 2017, 11:30 - 12:20 pm, Avalon 10 & 11, Harrahs Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey) Details here. Photos here.
    • Maryland Library Association Conference: "Libraries = Education: Your Key to Success" (May 11, 2017, 3 - 4 pm, Ocean City, Maryland) See Conf. Program p. 18.
    • Texas Association of School Library Administrators Conference Workshop: "Transforming Our Image: Libraries = Education" (June 14, 2017, Austin, Texas) Photos here.
    • American Library Association Annual Conference Thought Leader Forum: "Library and Information Experts Succeeding in the 21st Century: A Town Hall Dialogue on Competencies, Careers, and Successful Practice" (June 24, 2017, 1 - 2:30 pm, McCormick Place, W470, Chicago, Illinois) Details here.
    • American Library Association Annual Conference RUSA President's Program: "Forget the Future: Our Time is Now! (June 24, 2017, 4:30- 5:30 pm, McCormick Place, W190a, Chicago, Illinois) Details here.
    • American Library Association Annual Conference Session: "You've Earned It: Now Get the Respect You Deserve" sponsored by the Library Leadership & Management Association (LLAMA) section, and Demco (sponsoring Libraries = Education buttons for attendees). (June 26, 2017, 1 - 2:30 pm, McCormick Place, W184a, Chicago, Illinois) Details here. Photos here.
    • Suffolk Cooperative Library System Workshop: "Libraries = Education: A New Way of Thinking" (October 5, 2017, Bellport, New York)
    • Rochester Regional Library Council Workshop: "Libraries = Education: Who We Are, What We Do, Why It Matters" (October 19, 2017, 9:30 am - 3 pm, Fairport, New York)
    • Kansas Library Association Conference  Opening Keynote and a Pre-Conference Workshop: Keynote: "Libraries = Education: Lights, Camera, Action!"; Pre-Conference: "Why Kansas Needs Libraries More Than Ever: Libraries = Education" (October 25, 2017, Hyatt Regency, Wichita, Kansas)

      2016

    • Catholic University’s 8th Annual Bridging the Spectrum Symposium Keynote: “A Unifying Vision: Libraries Educating Our Communities” (February 12, 2016, 10 – 11 am, Catholic University of America, Washington, DC). Photos here.
    • Library Journal/EvisionWare Webcast Event: "Building Vibrant Communities Through Literacy and Education" (March 29, 2016, 2-3 pm EST) Attendees: 700 (600 from U.S., representing 48 states, DC, and Puerto Rico; 40 from Canada, representing 7 provinces; 45 from additional countries: Australia, Bahamas, Belize, Greece, Ireland, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Singapore, South Korea)
    • Public Library Association Conference April 5-9, 2016 – Conference Session: "Libraries = Education: Reclaiming Our Purpose for the 21st Century” (April 7, 2016, 2 - 3 pm, Colorado Convention Center, Mile High Ballroom 3-4, Denver, Colorado). Attendees: 600; Photos here.
    • Public Library Association Conference April 5-9, 2016 – Video Conference Session: "Libraries = Education: Reclaiming Our Purpose for the 21st Century" (April 8, 2016, 10:15-11:15 am MT) Attendees: 900
    • Northeast Florida Library Information Network (NEFLIN) Expert Series Workshop: "Who We Are, What We Do, Why It Matters: Why Florida Needs Libraries More Than Ever" (April 20, 2016, 8:30 am – 3:30 pm; Jacksonville, Florida) Photos here.
      • Part I: "Getting It Together"
      • Part II: "Putting It Together: Education Innovation"
    • Texas Library Association Annual Conference: "Director's Symposium: Making Your Library Indispensable" (April 21, 2016, 8:30 - 9:50 a.m., George R. Brown Convention Center -- Hilton Hotel, Houston, Texas)
    • Southwest Kansas Library Association Webinar: "Why Kansas Needs Libraries More Than Ever: Libraries = Education" (July 18, 2016, 10 - 11 am, EST)
    • American Library Association Presidential Initiative Panel Presentation: "Libraries Transform: The Identification and Value of Expertise" (ALA President Dr. Julie Todaro, Valerie Gross, Martin Garnar, September 16, 2016 Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
    • Kansas Tour Southwest Kansas Library Association – Three Workshops: "Why Kansas Needs Libraries More Than Ever: Libraries = Education"; Part I: "Getting It Together," Part II: "Putting It Together: Education Innovation" (October 12-14, 2016)
        • October 12, 2016: Dodge City, KS
        • October 13, 2016: Wakeeney, KS
        • October 14, 2016: Salina, KS
    2015
    • The Maryland State Dept. of Education Division of Library Development & Services Library CEO’s Forum 2015 Winter Academy: "Who We Are, What We Do, Why It Matters: Our Distinctive Purpose" Part I: Getting It Together; Part II: Putting It Together (January 9, 20159:30 am – 4:30 pmHCLS Savage Branch & STEM Education Center, Maryland)     
    • American Library Association Midwinter Meeting Pre-Conference Institute: "Who We Are, What We Do, Why It Matters: Our Distinctive Purpose" (January 30, 2015, 8:30 am - 4 pm, McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois. For ALA members and non-members.) Flickr Photos here.
    • The University of Maryland Information Policy & Access Center and iSchool Re-Envisioning the MLS Initiative Spring Seminar: “A Unifying Vision: Reclaiming Our Purpose for the 21st Century” (March 11, 2015, 4:30 – 5:30 pm (EST), Univ. of MD College Park, 2116 Hornbake, South Wing, College Park, MD 20742—or online via Adobe Connect) Details here; Registration here.
    • Louisiana Library Association Pre-Conference Institute: "Who We Are, What We Do, Why It Matters & Why We're All in this Together" (March 25, 2015, 8 am - 3 pm; Shreveport Convention Center; Shreveport, Louisiana)
      • Part I “Who We Are, What We Do, Why It Matters: Why Louisiana Needs Libraries More Than Ever”
      • Part II We’re All in this Together: School Partnerships & STEM Education Innovation"
      Photos here.
    • Chester County Library System  Two Workshops: "Who We Are, What We Do, Why It Matters: Why Chester County Needs Libraries More Than Ever" (March 30-31, 2015, Chester Springs, Pennsylvania)
      • March 30 evening workshop photos here
      • March 31 morning workshop photos here
    • Nebraska Tour Nebraska Library Association – Three Workshops: "Who We Are, What We Do, Why It Matters: Why Nebraska Needs Libraries More Than Ever"; Part I: "Getting It Together," Part II: "Putting It Together: Education Innovation" (April 22-24, 2015)
        • April 22: Alliance, NE photos here
        • April 23: Kearney, NE photos here
        • April 24: Columbus, NE photos here
    • Florida Library Association Conference: DLIS Public Library Director Academy and Conference Session (May 12-13, 2015, Orlando, Florida)
      • Academy: “Back to the Future: Why Florida Needs Libraries More Than Ever” (Agenda here) (Photos here)
        • Part I – “Getting It Together: Who We Are, What We Do, Why It Matters”
        • Part II – “Putting It Together: Education Innovation
      • Conference Session: “Libraries: Key to Florida’s Education Enterprise"
    • Alexandria Library System Professional Development Day Keynote and Breakout Session (May 15, 2015, Alexandria, Virginia)
      • Keynote: "Back to the Future: Why Alexandria Needs Libraries More Than Ever"  (Photos here)
      • Breakout Session: "Putting It Together: Why Alexandria Needs Libraries More Than Ever"
    • American Library Association Annual Conference Session 2015: "Getting a Bigger Piece of the Pie" (June 28, 2015, 10:30 - 11:30 am, San Francisco, California) (For Library Journal's review of the session, please click here; for photos, please click here.)
    • American Library Association Annual Conference Session 2015: "Choosing Civility in Your Community" (June 28, 2015, 2:45 - 3:30 pm, San Francisco, California) (Photos here)
    • Wisconsin Trustee Training Week presented by Nicolet Federated Library System Webinar: "A New Vision: Why Wisconsin Needs Libraries More Than Ever" (August 19, 2015, 1 - 2 pm EST)
    • Panhandle Library Access Network 2015 Mini-Conference Keynote: "Who We Are, What We Do, Why We Matter: Why Florida Needs Libraries More Than Ever" (September 11, 2015, 10:15 - 11:15 am, Gulf Coast State College, Panama City, Florida). (Photos here)
    • LibraryWorks, Inc./Strategic Library Webinar: “Movin’ Up to First Class: Libraries = Education — Reclaiming Our Purpose for the 21st Century” (September 24, 2015, 2 – 3 pm EST Registration here)
    • Indiana Library Federation Annual Conference 2015 Pre-Conference Institute: "Who We Are, What We Do, Why It Matters: Our Distinctive Purpose" (November 16, 2015, 2 - 5 pm, Indianapolis Marriott East, Indianapolis, Indiana) (Photos here)
    2014

    • Gale/Cengage Learning Conference for Chicagoland Library Directors Feature Presentation: "The Education Advantage: The Library as an Educational Institution" (January 16, 2014, Chicago, Illinois)
    • "Live Twitter Chat with Author of Transforming Our Image, Building Our Brand." Tweet Chat on March 4, 2014, 12 pm, EST. Prior to the chat, watch The Education Advantage video (51 min.); event hashtag #transformlib; (sponsored by Gale/Cengage Learning)
    • Public Library Association Conference: "Library Leadership" (March 13, 2014, 8 - 9:30 am, JW Marriott, Indianapolis, Indiana)
    • Public Library Association Conference: "Our Education Imperative: Why Your Community Needs You More Than Ever" (March 13, 2014; 3:30 pm, Indianapolis, Indiana)
    • Public Library Association Virtual Conference Session Webinar: “Who We Are, What We Do, and Why It Matters: Establishing Our Distinctive Sense of Purpose" (March 14, 2014; 5 - 6 pm EST; for conference attendees as well as those unable to attend; hosted at Indianapolis, Indiana)
    • Public Library Association Conference Session: “Who We Are, What We Do, and Why It Matters: Establishing Our Distinctive Sense of Purpose" (March 15, 2014; 10:30 am, Indianapolis, Indiana)
    • Infopeople Online Course: "A Smart Partnership: Collaborating Successfully with Your Local Schools" (March 25 - April 21, 2014; infopeople.org; Course Description)
    • Chesapeake Public Library Staff Development Day Keynote Address and Breakout Session: “Transforming Our Image with the Three Pillars Approach: Who We Are, What We Do, and Why It Matters;” “Choose Civility: Creating a Culture, Leading the Way” (April 11, 2014, Chesapeake, Virginia)
    • The Czech Republic:
      • Masaryk University’s Division of Information and Library Studies of the Faculty of Arts Seminar: “The Education Advantage: Why the Czech Republic Needs Libraries More Than Ever.” Part of the University’s “External Expert” series on innovation of library curriculum for students enrolled in the university’s Faculty of Arts program studying for their Master’s Degree. (May 27, 2014, Brno, Czech Republic)
      • Higher School of Librarianship and Administration (HSLA) Seminar: “American Libraries and the Education Advantage.” An overview for students enrolled in HSLA of a leading American public library system and the growing movement that positions libraries as part of the education enterprise. (May 28, 2014, Brno, Czech Republic) (Video of opening)
      • Jiri Mahen Library Seminar: “Libraries: Key to the Czech Republic's Education Enterprise.” A seminar for public and academic library staff members following a library development BiblioEduca session on the meaning of changes in a 21st century library curriculum. (May 29, 2014, Brno, Czech Republic)
      • Moravian Library Workshop: “Who We Are, What We Do, and Why it Matters: Our Distinctive Purpose” A strategic workshop for public and academic library presidents and CEOs and top leadership positions. (May 30, 2014, Brno, Czech Republic)
    • American Library Association Conference Presentation: “Getting a Bigger Slice of the Pie: Effective Communication with Funders & Policymakers” (Sunday, June 29, 2014, Las Vegas Convention Center, 1 - 2:30 pm, Room N240; Las Vegas, Nevada)
    • New York Alliance of Library Systems 2014 Retreat Feature Presentation: "Who We Are, What We Do, Why It Matters: Our Distinctive Purpose." (August 14, 2014, East Greenbush - Castleton, New York)
    • Allen County Public Library (IN) / Library Camp 2014 Keynote Address: "A 21st and 22nd Century Vision: Why Indiana Needs Libraries More Than Ever." (August 19, 2014, Fort Wayne, Indiana)
    • Lincoln Parish Library (LA) Staff Day Keynote/Workshop: “Who We Are, What We Do, Why It Matters: Why Our Community Needs Us More Than Ever.” (September 10, 2014, Ruston, Louisiana)
    • Nicolet Federated Library System (WI) Professional Development Day Seminar and Workshop: "Why Your Community Needs You More Than Ever." Part I: Presentation "Who We Are, What We Do, Why It Matters: Our Distinctive Purpose;" Part II: Workshop "The Power of Language;" Part III: Presentation/Discussion "Strengthening the Pillars" (September 19, 2014, Brown County Library, Green Bay, Wisconsin)
    • Pennsylvania Library Association Conference Public Library Division Breakfast Keynote Speaker:
      • The Big Idea: Establishing Your Timeless Value in Pennsylvania’s Changing Marketplace;” followed by a Breakout Session
      •  Making a Splash: How to Implement The Big Idea” (September 30, 2014, Lancaster, Pennsylvania)
    • Library Journal/School Library Journal’s The Digital Shift: Libraries @ the Center (an all-day, all-virtual event) presentation "A+ and C++: STEM Education Innovation" (October 1, 2014, 2:45 pm)
    • Sussex County Department of Libraries Staff Development Day Keynote Address:
      • “Indispensable: Why Sussex County Needs Libraries More Than Ever;” followed by a Breakout Session,
      •  “Smart: Implementing A+ Partners in Education” (October 3, 2014, Sussex, Delaware)
    • Minneapolis Library Association Pre-Conference Directors Forum Seminar: “Back to the Future: Why Minnesota Needs Libraries More Than Ever.” (October 6, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota)
    • Minnesota Library Association Conference Keynote Address
      • “Get It Together: Reclaiming Our Purpose for the 21st Century;” followed by a workshop,
      •  “Putting It Together,” for participants to begin applying the model. (October 7, 2014, Mankato, Minnesota)
    • Gwinnett County Public Library Staff Day Keynote Address: “Back to the Future: Why Gwinnett County Needs Libraries More Than Ever” (October 13, 2014, Buford, Georgia)
    • PLANT (Public Library Administrators of Northern Texas) Conference Executive Retreat Keynote/Workshop: "Who We Are, What We Do, Why It Matters: Why Texas Needs Libraries More Than Ever" (October 23, 2014, Kaufman, Texas)
    2013
    • American Libraries Association Conference Session, “The Road to Civility: Implementing a Choose Civility Initiative.” Presenters: HCLS President & CEO Valerie J. Gross and HCLS Director of Public Relations Christie P. Lassen (June 29, 2013, Chicago, Illinois)
    • Carroll County Public Library, “The Road to Civility: Implementing a Choose Civility Initiative.” Presenters: HCLS President & CEO Valerie J. Gross and HCLS Director of Public Relations Christie P. Lassen (August 6, 2013, New Windsor, MD)
    • Kitsap Regional Library Staff Development Day Keynote Address, “Transforming Our Image: Establishing a Timeless, Distinctive Purpose” and Breakout Sessions, “Smart: Implementing A+ Partners in Education,” “Choose Civility: Creating a Culture, Leading the Way” (September 26, 2013, Poulsbo, Washington)
    • Norfolk Public Library Staff Training Day Keynote Address, “Choose Civility: Creating a Culture, Taking the Lead” (October 14, 2013, Norfolk, Virginia)
    • Library Media Connection LMC@The Forefront Webinar: "Who We Are, What We Do, and Why It Matters: Establishing Our Distinctive Sense of Purpose" (October 22, 2013, 4 pm EST)
    2012
    • Virginia Educational Facility Planners Seminar (Virginia’s chapter of the Council of Educational Facility Planners International): “Transforming Our Image, Building Our Brand: The Education Advantage” (February 27, 2012, Roanoke, Virginia)
    • Public Library Association Conference presentation: “Choose Civility: Positioning Public Libraries Center Stage” (March 16, 2012, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
    • Public Library Association Webinar: “Implementing Choose Civility, a Community-wide Campaign” (March 20, 2012, American Library Association)
    • Virginia Public Library Directors’ Association Meeting Seminar: “Transforming Our Image, Building Our Brand: The Education Advantage” (April 26, 2012, Syria, Virginia)
    • American Library Association Presentation: “Transforming Our Image, Building Our Brand: The Education Advantage” (June 23, 2012, ALA Conference, ABC-CLIO)
    • Newport News Public Library System Professional Development Day Keynote Address and Workshop, “Transforming Our Image, Building Our Brand: The Education Advantage” (August 15, 2012, Newport News, Virginia)
    • Jefferson-Madison Regional Library Seminar, “Transforming Our Image, Building Our Brand: The Education Advantage” (August 27, 2012, Charlottesville, Virginia)

    2011

    • Public Library Association Webinar: “Transforming Our Image: No Explanation Needed; Part I, The Three Pillars Philosophy; Part II, Implementing the Vision” (May 18, 2011, American Library Association, Chicago, Illinois)
    • New Hampshire Library Association Fall Conference Webinar: “Transforming Our Image—Part I: Building Our Brand: The Education Advantage; Part II: Implementing the Vision” (November 4, 2011)

    2010

    • Urban Libraries Council Webinar: “The Power of Strategic Language in Education” (February 24, 2010)
    • Chester County (PA) Library and District Center Conference Workshop: “Transforming Our Image through Words that Work” (April 29, 2010, Exton, Pennsylvania)
    • Detroit Library Cooperative, Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative, Suburban Library Cooperative and The Library Network Keynote Address and Workshop: “The Playwrights Workshop: Transforming Our Image through Words that Work” (June 8, 2010, Waterford, Michigan)
    • Delta Township District Library Workshop: “Transforming Our Image through Words that Work” (June 9, 2010, Lansing, Michigan)
    • West Virginia Library Association Conference Workshop: “Transforming Our Image through Words that Work: No Explanation Needed” and Seminar: “Implementing the Vision” (October 13, 2010, Roanoke, West Virginia)
    • Montgomery County-Norristown Public Library In-Service Day Workshop: “Transforming Our Image through Words that Work” (October 20, 2010, Norristown, Pennsylvania)
    • Public Library Association Webinar: “Transforming Our Image: No Explanation Needed” (November 15, 2010, American Library Association, Chicago, Illinois)
    • Pennsylvania Library Association Keynote Address: “Transforming Our Image through Words that Work: No Explanation Needed;” and Seminar: “Implementing the Vision” (December 3, 2010, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania)
    • Texas State Library Webinar: “The Road to Civility—Implementing a Choose Civility Initiative,"  Presenters: HCLS President & CEO Valerie J. Gross, HCLS Director of Public Relations Christie P. Lassen, and Howard County Board of Education Chair Ellen Flynn Giles (December 10, 2010)

    2009

    • Maryland Library Association Pre-Conference Session/Workshop: “Convey Your Value Through Words that Work” (May 13, 2009, Ocean City, Maryland)
    • Wicomico (MD) Public Library Staff Development Day Keynote Address and Workshop, “The Indispensable Library: Conveying Our Value Through Words that Work” (October 2009, Salisbury, Maryland)
    • 7th Annual Advocacy Conference Session, “Do Unto Others: Enhancing Customer Service in Eldercare Settings;”  Keynote: “The Road to CIVILITY” (November 18, 2009, Baltimore County, Maryland)

    2008

    • Infopeople (California State Library) Workshop: “Building Leadership Skills: Community Engagement” (February 19, 2008, San Bernardino Public Library, San Bernardino, California)
    • College of DuPage (Illinois) Press Teleconference Presenter—“Library Challenges and Opportunities: Tools of Engagement: Attracting and Engaging Library Users” (Broadcast Date: May 9, 2008)
    • Maryland Association of Public Library Administrators Presentation: “Words that Work: Perception is Everything” (October 3, 2008, Ocean City, Maryland)

    2007

    • Infopeople (California State Library)--Seven Workshops: “Building Leadership Skills: Community Engagement”
      • Sacramento Public Library (May 7, 2007)
      • San Francisco Public Library (May 8, 2007)
      • San Jose Public Library (May 17, 2007)
      • Fresno Public Library (May 18, 2007)
      • San Diego Public Library (May 29, 2007
      • Buena Park Library District (May 30, 2007)
      • Los Angeles Public Library (May 31, 2007)
    • Alaska State Library DirLead Conference Keynote Address and Workshop: “Creating the Indispensable Library: Community Engagement” (October 2007, Anchorage, Alaska)
    2006
    • California Public Library Directors Conference Presentation: “Reimagining the Library Customer Experience” (May 2006, San Diego, California)                                                                                                                                                                                                  
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    INVITED PRESENTATIONS -- PHOTOS



    RECOMMENDATIONS 

    "Celebrate Community: Crestview Library Ahead of National Trend," by Brian Hughes, Crestview News Bulletin, 09/29/15

    Words that Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear, by Frank Luntz. New York: Hyperion, 2007.

    Mavericks at Work: Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win, by William C. Taylor and Polly LaBarre. New York: HarperCollins, 2007.                                                                                                                                                                                  Return to Top

     
     
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